Braces for Misalignment Caused by Gum Disease
By Kellyn Hodges on April 08, 2015
Gum disease is a common dental problem, one that affects millions of adult patients each year. In many cases, gum disease is caught in its earliest stage, gingivitis, which can be easily treated and results in little long-term damage to the teeth and gums. However, if patients do not undergo treatment for gingivitis, it can progress into periodontal disease, which can result in bone loss, misalignment of the teeth, and even tooth loss. If the teeth have shifted out of place as a result of periodontal disease, Dr. Kellyn Hodges can use orthodontic braces, which improve the alignment of the teeth. If you need braces after gum disease, contact our Philadelphia practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hodges.
The Damage Caused by Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease is caused by a build-up of plaque and bacteria along and beneath the gum line. As plaque accumulates on the teeth and gums, it attracts bacteria, which feed off the plaque. The bacteria emit acids, which eat away at tooth enamel and gum tissue. If the build-up of plaque and bacteria is not treated, it will wear down the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth. This can result in a loosening and shifting of the teeth. Eventually, patients may suffer tooth loss if periodontal disease is allowed to progress.
If you notice that your teeth have become loose or shifted out of place, it is important to seek dental treatment immediately. A periodontist can perform treatment to save the teeth. However, if the teeth have shifted out of place, orthodontic treatment will be required to move the teeth back into proper alignment.
Periodontal Disease Treatment
Before undergoing orthodontic treatment, patients must seek treatment for periodontal disease. Once the gums are in good health, patients may proceed with orthodontic treatment. Treatments for periodontal disease include:
- Root planning and scaling: During this treatment, the periodontist will clean the teeth, removing plaque and bacteria that has built up along and below the gum line. Next, the periodontist will smooth the tooth roots, addressing any crevices or grooves that make it easier for plaque and bacteria to accumulate. This treatment may be performed in stages if periodontal disease is severe.
- Antibiotics: The periodontist may place antibiotic fibers within the gum line. These fibers eliminate any additional bacteria and infection that may be present in the mouth.
- Gum surgery: If the gums have recessed, the periodontist may perform a soft tissue graft, removing gum tissue from one area of the mouth, and placing it over the area that has suffered gum recession.
Correction with Braces
Once periodontal disease treatment is complete, patients can come to our office to begin orthodontic treatment. In most cases, we will use braces, which consist of brackets and wires, to move the teeth into proper alignment. Patients will return to our office monthly so Dr. Hodges can tighten the wires and gradually move the teeth into their desired positions.
To find out if you are a good candidate for braces after gum disease, contact our practice today.